Let's start today with a look around the league which I've been consciously trying to avoid because frankly it's all been so freakingly topsy-turvy. Courtesy of less than stellar play from UAA, the Badgers (who were the first WCHA team "written off" by many) have vaulted to 2nd place 3 points behind DU.
The Pios have probably been the most consistent team in the league so far. Luck may have a bit to do with that as they seemed to be lined up against more than a few of their opponents when that opponent was in the middle of a slump. The only real bump they've hit was a pair of losses to the St. Cloud Yo-Yoskies. They did stink up thier own tournament with a tie against Holy Cross and a loss to BU. They're far from being invulnerable though as Tech showed this weekend. The Pios have been suffering on the power play too so at least UAA shouldn't feel like the Lone Ranger but this weekend they did manage 2 goals on 9 attempts.
CC sits in 3rd 2 points behind Becky; they've had a weird season as well. They opened the season with 4 straight wins then had three ties in a row before starting a trend of winning on Saturday after a Friday loss. They seem now to be toying with the idea of winning on Friday and losing on Saturday. They're Team Schizophrenia.
As goofy as this year has been it really shouldn't be a huge surprise that UND is tied for 4th with the Gophs. The rest of the WCHA can thank John Hill for that. The Gophers were far and away the worst team on any ice surface in the WCHA this weekend and UND jumped all over them. Hillers has the reins while tLucia has some sort of undiagnosed creeping crud fouling up his system. I didn't see all of either game but enough to see how flat the Gophers were and how opportunistic the UNDers were. It also sounds like John Hill initiated some sort of "bounty" when he told the UM players on the bench to go out and shut Hextall's big fat gob. Ryan Stoa promptly mugged Hextall as per his orders; I didn't see that incident. I did see UND's Zack Jones (a defenseman) line up as a winger on a faceoff and toss his helmet and gloves thinking that he'd fight Lucia Jr and after being properly restrained, Jones basically assaulted a linesman. The Sioux were ahead 6-1 at the time and one of their roadcone Dman's panties are twisted so much that it causes that kind of hissy fit? Methinks someone needed a nap. Was Jonesy a wittle cwabby? He actually grabbed a bunch of sticks and threw them against the wall while going to the locker room. He now leads the WCHA Putz of the Year contest. I think he should be suspended for an extra game ... the shit he pulled while the linesman had him isn't acceptable. I wouldn't argue with a game suspension for John Hill either. Frankly, I'm surprised that Hill would do that but not for the reasons you might think. I just didn't know that he actually had his own pair of balls.
Duluth sits alone in 6th place (2 pts behind UM and UND and 1pt ahead of Yo-Yo State). They have one more win in WCHA play than the Seawolves. They're also on pace for 9 or 10 ties over the season with 5 already. No ties for them this weekend though as the Yo-Yoskies swept them at the NHC.
With Motzko dubbing his team the Yo-Yoskies you'd think they'd be a shoe-in for the mid-season Team Schizophrenia label. Let's see ... 2 wins then 3 losses ... a win and a loss ... 5 wins then 2 losses ... 2 wins then 3 losses and a tie ... then 2 wins. Nah ... I still think CC's win one lose one trend is more Schizophrenic. They have zero ties in WCHA play. They are 4 pts ahead of UAA.
The Purple Cows with their "Sexist Logo" (not all Mavericks have horns ... female bovines are Mavericks too ...) are next for UAA and sit exactly 4 points ahead of the Seawolves. That of course makes UAA's next series .... drum roll here please ... THE most important series of the year so far. Maybe it gets old to keep hearing me say that all season? By my estimation UAA needs (at LEAST) 7 more wins to even sniff home ice and I'll go out on a (not so big) limb and predict there'll be a tie for 5th between um ... uh .... who knows?
Next years recruits are progressing a bit so let's talk about that eh? Gustav Bengtson's unfortunate tour of NAHL franchises continues. While Topeka was in Alaska they traded Bengtson to Kenai. In 7 games he has 4 assists. That's nice ... let's hope he settles in a bit and then finds his stride.
Mickey Spencer's been on a bit of a goal scoring mini-streak and has risen to be tied for the 10th most goals in the league with 23 so far and sits 30th in overall points. The league leader has 34 goals. I never found a useful report of the CJAHL Prospects game that Wes McLeod played in. Blame Canada. He's improved his stats and currently has 4 goals and 22 assists. He got tossed from a game this past weekend with instigator, fighting and misconduct infractions.
Lee Baldwin continues to lead Victoria's defenseman in scoring with 10 goals and 28 assists. Those numbers are good enough for #3 in the league among blueliners. Victoria is hosting the RBC Tournament this year.
Lastly, there's been some sort of apparent kerfuffle with Matt Bailey in Tri-City. Pointstreak briefly listed him as released according to an email I received from Ryan at the USHL Hockey Blog. Apparently, they were planning to bring in a kid named Rybakov from the OHL. With only two import players per roster it seems that Matt drew the short straw. Here's some things that are ridiculous about this situation ... Matt is the 4th leading scorer on the team. He has 5 goals and 10 assists. The top 2 leading scorers on the team have 10 goals each. And the topper ... Tri-City is in big time last place. They are 6-25 with 12 points ... 8 teams in the league have MORE than 30 points ... 2 others have 21 and 26 and the other shit team in the league has 15. There is NO WAY that team improves itself enough to move up the standings by bringing in ONE player. The whole shebang never happened thankfully. It would have been a shitty thing to do to Matt. I'm glad he isn't forced to find another team but I hope he does so anyway. At this point that organization doesn't deserve his loyalty. Hopefully, his parents are on the phone with BCHL and AJHL teams.